Tag: Administrative-/compliance burden

Chapter I paragraph 1.12

In certain cases, the arm’s length principle may result in an administrative burden for both the taxpayer and the tax administrations of evaluating significant numbers and types of cross-border transactions. Although associated enterprises normally establish the conditions for a transaction at the time it is undertaken, at some point the enterprises may be required to demonstrate that these are consistent with the arm’s length principle. (See discussion of timing and compliance issues at Sections B and C of Chapter III and at Chapter V on Documentation). The tax administration may also have to engage in this verification process perhaps some years after the transactions have taken place. The tax administration would review any supporting documentation prepared by the taxpayer to show that its transactions are consistent with the arm’s length principle, and may also need to gather information about comparable uncontrolled transactions, the market conditions at the time the transactions took place, etc., for numerous and varied transactions. Such an undertaking usually becomes more difficult with the passage of time ...

Chapter III paragraph 3.33

Use of commercial databases should not encourage quantity over quality. In practice, performing a comparability analysis using a commercial database alone may give rise to concerns about the reliability of the analysis, given the quality of the information relevant to assessing comparability that is typically obtainable from a database. To address these concerns, database searches may need to be refined with other publicly available information, depending on the facts and circumstances. Such a refinement of the database search with other sources of information is meant to promote quality over standardised approaches and is valid both for database searches made by taxpayers/practitioners and for those made by tax administrations. It should be understood in light of the discussion of the costs and compliance burden created for the taxpayer at paragraphs 3.80-3.83 ...

Chapter III paragraph 3.80

One question that arises when putting the need for comparability analyses into perspective is the extent of the burden and costs that should be borne by a taxpayer to identify possible comparables and obtain detailed information thereon. It is recognised that the cost of information can be a real concern, especially for small to medium sized operations, but also for those MNEs that deal with a very large number of controlled transactions in many countries. Paragraph 4.28 and Chapter V contain explicit recognition of the need for a reasonable application of the requirement to document comparability ...

Chapter III paragraph 3.83

Small to medium sized enterprises are entering into the area of transfer pricing and the number of cross-border transactions is ever increasing. Although the arm’s length principle applies equally to small and medium sized enterprises and transactions, pragmatic solutions may be appropriate in order to make it possible to find a reasonable response to each transfer pricing case ...

Chapter V paragraph 5.2

This chapter provides guidance for tax administrations to take into account in developing rules and/or procedures on documentation to be obtained from taxpayers in connection with a transfer pricing enquiry or risk assessment. It also provides guidance to assist taxpayers in identifying documentation that would be most helpful in showing that their transactions satisfy the arm’s length principle and hence in resolving transfer pricing issues and facilitating tax examinations ...

Chapter V paragraph 5.9

While ideally taxpayers will use transfer pricing documentation as an opportunity to articulate a well thought-out basis for their transfer pricing policies, thereby meeting an important objective of such requirements, issues such as costs, time constraints, and competing demands for the attention of relevant personnel can sometimes undermine these objectives. It is therefore important for countries to keep documentation requirements reasonable and focused on material transactions in order to ensure mindful attention to the most important matters ...

Chapter VII paragraph 7.24

In some cases, an indirect-charge method may be necessary due to the nature of the service being provided. One example is where the proportion of the value of the services rendered to the various relevant entities cannot be quantified except on an approximate or estimated basis. This problem may occur, for example, where sales promotion activities carried on centrally (e.g. at international fairs, in the international press, or through other centralised advertising campaigns) may affect the quantity of goods manufactured or sold by a number of affiliates. Another case is where a separate recording and analysis of the relevant services for each beneficiary would involve a burden of administrative work that would be disproportionately heavy in relation to the activities themselves. In such cases, the charge could be determined by reference to an allocation among all potential beneficiaries of the costs that cannot be allocated directly, i.e. costs that cannot be specifically assigned to the actual beneficiaries of the various services. To satisfy the arm’s length principle, the allocation method chosen must lead to a result that is consistent with what comparable independent enterprises would have been prepared to accept ...

Chapter VII paragraph 7.37

While as a matter of principle tax administrations and taxpayers should try to establish the proper arm’s length pricing, it should not be overlooked that there may be practical reasons why a tax administration in its discretion exceptionally might be willing to forgo computing and taxing an arm’s length price from the performance of services in some cases, as distinct from allowing a taxpayer in appropriate circumstances to merely allocate the costs of providing those services. For instance, a cost-benefit analysis might indicate the additional tax revenue that would be collected does not justify the costs and administrative burdens of determining what an appropriate arm’s length price might be in some cases. In such cases, charging all relevant costs rather than an arm’s length price may provide a satisfactory result for MNEs and tax administrations. This concession is unlikely to be made by tax administrations where the provision of a service is a principal activity of the associated enterprise, where the profit element is relatively significant, or where direct charging is possible as a basis from which to determine the arm’s length price ...